June 2021


Now is the time we can all vow to make the world a better place one day at a time by being our authentic selves.

Each of us is capable of helping the world. Often, we think that it is impossible to make a difference without unlimited funding or free time. But all it takes is a few minutes each day and you can go at your own pace. When we vow to make the world a better place one day at a time, the true significance of small, good deeds reveals itself to us. We can see that we can be of service in small acts of kindness, helping those around us or doing something big, if we choose. The warmth we feel when we help the world is only a tiny part of the affirmative transformations that take place when we make altruism a part of everyday existence.

We make our homes, workplaces, communities, and countries better and brighter when we think positive thoughts that echo outward, give donations of time or money, smile at everyone we meet, and lend those in need of aid our assistance. As we learn, we inadvertently improve the universe because we can only be deeply involved when we are informed. Even enthusiastically sharing ideas with others generates positive energy that then serves as the motivation for more tangible change. Selfless and helpful deeds remind us that we exercise some degree of control over a world that can seem chaotic at times. Even the smallest of such deeds is a demonstration of the fact that we can change the world in a positive way. So much negative energy is generated by the suffering, pain, and close-mindedness we are regularly exposed to, but we can counteract it in a constructive way by thinking and acting altruistically when opportunities to do so arise.

Helping the world often takes no more than a moment, just a wish for the world is a beautiful gesture and can be done by even the busiest of people effortlessly. The gift you give each day need not be grand or attention-worthy because the broader benefits are the same no matter the literal repercussions. Once a day, you can affect reality, and you can reap the rewards of knowing that you are making the world a better place, day by day, not only for others, but also for yourself too. Have fun!

Kindest regards, and have a blessed day.

—Melanie White-Curtis
President, Humanists of Utah

President’s Report

We are very happy to announce that we are going to be starting in person meetings next month, in July! Our calendar is currently under construction but is rapidly filling up with fun things, like volunteer opportunities, the summer BBQ, monthly speakers, and our HumanLight Celebration at the end of the year.

It feels like it has been forever since we have been able to meet in person and our board is very excited to see you all soon! We will have new updates soon on our Facebook page and social media as they become available. Next month’s newsletter will announce most of the activities for the rest of this year.

In 2022, we will be hosting many of our larger events like Darwin Day, our booth at the Pride Festival and other things. This will be possible because of general population compliance to masking, social distancing, and perhaps most notably how many people are being vaccinated. There are still a lot of people, notably the younger set for whom the vaccines are just becoming eligible for the jabs.

In an abundance of caution, we will be offering masks, social distancing, hand sanitizer to help us all feel secure and stay safe.

My beloved humanists, it has been an extremely long year plus of misery. I know we are all weary but have been fighting the good fight on the side of science, rational thought, and all the different ways that we individually participate in making the world a better place. It is still, oh so important for us to continue. It is working! I find John Lewis to always be inspiring by urging us to get into Good Trouble. This is an important message and I send you into June with his immortal words:

Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.

We miss you. We are excited to see you soon. We are still here going strong and are preparing to launch out to help create good trouble and make a difference for the betterment of our world and our people.

Kindest regards, and have a blessed day.

—Melanie White-Curtis
President, Humanists of Utah

Humanist Humor

The Gospel of OOPS!

The Gospel of OOPS!

A humanist recently had to buy an older used car. He took it to his mechanic and friend of 25 years for his evaluation, who said that the car was in good condition. The humanist bought it. Shortly thereafter, the car broke down, and it was taken back to the mechanic. The mechanic apologized and said that he felt very “guilty.”

“I don’t believe in guilt!” said the humanist. “I believe in The Gospel of OOPS! As in OOPS! I made a mistake and I’d better fix it.”

“OOPS! Why OOPS?” asked the mechanic, not believing what he heard.

“Well, it’s like this,” the humanist went on, “Once you believe in guilt, then comes sin, repentance, salvation, judgment day and so on, it just never ends. OOPS! does it all.”

“Okay. No sin, no guilt, just OOPS! Right!” said the mechanic as he happily began to fix the car.

—Bob Green

Kiss the Ground

~Film Review~

Kiss the Ground is a documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson and is a good presentation of the central idea of regenerating the soils of the earth. Consider the fact that healthy soils are filled with tens of thousands of organisms and that soils hold a lot of CO2 and moisture. They also help to moderate the weather on the large scale and on the small scale. There is a lot to glean from this documentary and I suggest that you watch it and that perhaps HoU consider host a showing.

One of the main themes of the documentary is that tilling or ploughing the soil is harmful and that tilling along with the use of pesticides kills the soil and causes erosion and desertification and they state that since pesticides were ramped up in the 1970’s we have lost one third the earth’s soil. Plus, the fact that this has been going on long before the 1970’s. They state that during the dust bowl of the 1930’s some 200,000,000 acres of soil were severely damaged, and that history shows that where soils were ploughed throughout the world in ancient times, they evidentially turned to desert. The predictions are, that at the rate we are going, the earths soils will be depleted in 50 years. So, there is no time to waste.

They go on to advocate the regeneration or healing of the soils which will help with the CO2 problem. The method is basically quite simple and that is to stop killing the soil by tilling it up plus and learning to use a diversity of species so the soil is alive and productive all year round.

When we discuss environmental issues such as pollution and climate change, we need to remember to look at all the various factors as to what is causing the problem. That can be daunting as there are numerous factors when looking at a global problem like climate change. But one of the facts is that the earths soils are a big part of the climate change equation that needs to be addressed along with air pollution and other factors.

Speaking of facts, I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes. It is written by Robert A. Heinlein one of my favorite science fiction writers. One of his characters named Lazarus Long has a notebook with an entry that reads.

“What are the facts? Again, and again and again—what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what the “stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”—what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”

—Bob Lane

The Future of American Liberalism

This piece was originally published in our July 1993 newsletter

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